Yasmin Alibhai Brown is usually wrong and she is again. She is a useful bellwether for current events. If you are not sure what is the best thing to do, read her articles and opt for the opposing point of view. You will usually be right. She has done so again. In the Independent (15/11/15) she calls for an increase the power of the state to defeat terrorism. This article is slightly unusual as even she knows she is wrong as she rights it ..
“Yes, I realise the state may well misuse these powers and maybe I will be sorry for letting go of a precious liberty.”
There is no good reason to believe that increased policing will improve our security in this area. Indeed some argue that excessive policing of young muslim men creates a well of alienation and anger which foments terrorist activity as it pushes them away from mainstream society.
The risks of being the victim of a terrorist attack are considerably lower than those of being struck by lightening and the costs of surveillance are extremely high. It may cost as much as $8,000,000 to watch each individual suspect (Australian estimates). The French think that they may have to watch around 200 at any given time. So this very high cost covers and extremely low risk and has no proven beneficial outcome.
While the benefits of surveillance are unknown at best, the hazards are well established. It is unheard of for the state to give away powers that it has gained without a considerable fight. We can not presume that after the “emergency” has gone the powers will be rescinded and revoked.
We are in the midst of a fight between two diametrically opposed cultures. Our own liberal and democratic culture against the fascist culture which is personified, at present, by ISIS. We seek to preserve freedom for our people while they seek to impose the will of the state (through the guise of God). In all areas; the freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and freedom of association they wish to remove these from us. It is no surprise that their recent attack struck where it did, as it signifies their disgust with our morals and behaviour.
We can not defend these freedoms by giving them away. If we allow this tragedy to encourage us to give up our liberty we have started to loose the battle. As others have said, we need to remain strong in our belief that our culture is correct and behave in a manner that shows we believe it. We will destroy islamofascism eventually but only if we know what and why we are fighting.
It could not be otherwise and the the media continued its attention to the Paris attacks. Unfortunately the liberal press, in the main, continued to miss the point and continued to try and separate the attacks from Islam. Though there are glimmers of light. This article in Left Foot Forward raises the importance of tackling this issue. As it reports..
“But something somewhere is seriously wrong when prejudice against a community is one’s primary concern on the day a nation suffers the biggest acts of violence in decades.”
and we are unlikely to be able to tackle this problem unless we discuss it. Dissenting voices in the Muslim community need to be encouraged and removing the link removes the impetus for change.
Why, after all, would we Muslims work on solving a problem that isn’t ours to being with?
it is also increasingly clear that facing this problem with Islam could also help deal with the problem of Islamophobia.
It’s a no-brainer that once Islamist extremism is curtailed, anti-Muslim bigotry will be gradually snuffed out in synchrony.
An excellent piece by Brendan O’Neill on the need to, as he says, “fight — really fight — for the Enlightenment.” His criticism of our self-loathing is both trenchant and important and he has expressed my feeling much better than I would have managed myself.
I have sat and watched in horror what has just happened in Paris. Scores dead; men, women and children, and all civilians. If this is a war, then this is a further war crime by the Islamists.
But while I shrink in horror on what has happened and my incomprehension as to how we can tackle this, and prevent future massacres, I start to notice a second affront to dignity and civilisation. While we should be focussing on the dead and injured and seeking a remedy for this the media and social pundits have started their usual self-flagellation.
What can we expect, they cry,when we have caused Islamophobia ? Don’t let this misfortune cause problems for the innocent muslims amongst us ! Pity the poor Calais migrants who have been attacked tonight in revenge (A false story as it transpired) ! All the concerns are for possible future victims of suspicion or abuse with no real thought for the dead or their families.
This is inappropriate and wrong and should not be our focus at the moment.
These are usually the same people who caution us against criticism of Palestinian actions in the middle east and never seem worried one whit when anti-semitic atrocities occur. They may be right that events like this increase feeling of animosity to muslims, but, if this is the case then there is a pressing need to stop events like this.
Just for common decency our thoughts should be with the victims and their families at the moment, we can deal with these less pressing risks later but in the interim just shut the fuck up.